Peoria Riverfront Museum

Peoria Riverfront Museum

222 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL 61602 - United States





Smithsonian Affiliate Museum

Our Mission

To inspire lifelong learning for all - connecting art, history, science and achievement through collections, exhibitions and programs.

About the Museum

The only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation, the Peoria Riverfront Museum uses art, science, history and achievement to inspire confidence, lifelong learning, and talent. Since opening in 2012, the privately funded museum has provided more than one million experiences through major exhibitions, a permanent collection, interactive galleries, a dome planetarium, giant screen theater and educational programming including curricula-related student visits. The AAM-accredited, Smithsonian-affiliated private nonprofit museum is supported by more than 4,000 members and donors, and is housed in a county-owned LEED Gold-certified building on a campus overlooking the Illinois River. The museum has been designated one of the 200 great places in Illinois by the American Institute of Architects.

The museum manages a permanent collection of 15,000 objects and organizes more than 20 self-curated and visiting exhibitions annually in five major galleries and twenty-five total display spaces. Special programs include a 40-ft dome planetarium, 194-seat giant screen movie theater, and an array of educational programming that includes museum classes, camps, lectures, tours, travel programs, digital and video content. The museum has more than 200 community and national program and content partners, including affiliation with the Smithsonian.


"Thomas Mangelsen: A Life in the Wild"

Thomas Mangelsen, perhaps the world's best known wildlife photographer, has produced a legendary body of work through more than 40 years of traveling to the wildest corners of North America and beyond. His work includes truly awe-inspiring landscapes and some of the most recognizable wildlife scenes ever photographed, including many considered the most important of the modern environmental age. This exhibition of Mangelsen’s most iconic, large-scale photographs will open Peoria Riverfront Museum’s newly renovated Illinois River gallery.

"Ken Hoffman: 50 Years in Peoria"

Ken Hoffman arrived in Peoria in 1969, accepting the position of professor of painting at Bradley University. Since then, Hoffman, a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, has spent fifty years developing a unique painting style which simultaneously explores the human qualities of animals and the animal qualities of humans. Beginning with a mural work painted in 1970, this exhibition explores the 50-year artistic journey which has realized these humorous, unmistakable, and often very large-scale paintings of animals in suits.

"The Sculpture of Ronald Bladen: Angle/Edge/Plane"

Gifted to Peoria by the Junior League of Peoria in 1983, "Sonar Tide" by renowned sculptor Ronald Bladen (1918-1988) is the most recognized public sculpture in the region. In celebration of Sonar Tide, which was Bladen’s last and largest commissioned work, Peoria Riverfront Museum is pleased to bring a collection of models, drawings, and photographs from the estate of Ronald Bladen and the Loretta Howard Gallery in New York, as well as a preparatory image from Harvard Art Museums. This exhibition highlights Bladen's practice as a sculptor who is credited with influencing major Minimalist sculptors such as Richard Serra, Donald Judd, and Sol Lewitt.

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